Hong Kong and Singapore have agreed to postpone their highly anticipated “air travel bubble” to until 2021, the respective governments announced on Tuesday.
The delay comes as Hong Kong finds itself facing yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government reinstating social distancing measures and closing down schools after a four-month high of 115 new infections were reported Sunday and another 158 over the past two days.
The first charter flight between Hong Kong and Singapore had been set to depart on Sunday 22 November, allowing travelers between the two cities to enter without undergoing quarantine.
One charter flight with a maximum of 200 passengers was to depart from each location to begin with, rising to two flights every day from 7 December if the situation remained stable.
However, the two jurisdictions last week put that on hold before confirming a much longer delay on Tuesday.
“Singapore and Hong Kong have further reviewed the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong, and given that local unlinked cases are still high, both parties have decided to defer the commencement of the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble to beyond December 2020,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said via a statement.
“The exact start date of the ATB arrangement will be reviewed in late December.”